It had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it? The coasties of Madison have projected their spandex-clad, blackberry-wielding notoriety into sites dedicated to vernacular definition like Urban Dictionary, and have even become prominent enough to have an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a subsequent entry in Wikipedia.
Now they have their own song.
Produced by two University of Wisconsin undergraduates, “The Coastie Song” debuted on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Since then, their Myspace page has received over 15,000 views and the song itself has gotten nearly 5,500 plays.
UW junior Quincy Harrison and sophomore Cliff Grefe (A.K.A. Quincy & Beef) finished writing the song about three weeks ago, and have made it available on iTunes for all to have a listen (though it can be heard for free on Myspace). Harrison and Grefe wrote the song to highlight a visible and specific aspect of life on the UW Campus.
“I’ve always been making songs as a hobby, and after noticing the unique coastie/sconnie divide that UW has, I decided it would be fun to make a song about it,” Harrison said.
The lyrical content mentions all of the things required in a song about coasties (boots, tights, shades, phones, purses, jackets and beyond), and provides a fairly generic beat with some tightly worded verses that include esoteric references to Madison, and it even has a bridge featuring obligatory autotune vocal modification. It delivers on its novel appeal, although its malevolence to the much-stereotyped out-of-state students is questionable.
Some have taken issue with the song and its lyrics. UW junior Laura Gottlieb (of Chicago) thinks the song serves to perpetuates negative stereotypes and promotes a campus-wide lack of unity.
“I think things like this divide our school. We’re all here for the same reason,” Gottlieb said.
A perceived anti-Semitism in the song’s chorus, which specifically mentions “My East coast Jewish honeys”, has offended others outright. Associating Jewry with the coastie stereotype caused UW junior Dani Cohen a bit of frustration.
“When I come here (to Wisconsin) I’m categorized […] I think it’s ignorant and rude,” Cohen said.
The lyrics and song did produce some laughs among those interviewed, but many expressed the same frustration when taking the content seriously.
Armed with an insight into campus life and a bit of street smarts, the two have initiated a guerilla marketing campaign that has been effective in getting the word out about the song itself and the rap duo. With an aggressive Facebook campaign and a number of promotional stickers showing up in Memorial Union and College Library it’s no wonder so many have heard the song. New songs are also in the works, and “The Coastie Song” seems to be a clever marketing tool in its own right.
“We wanted to get our name out there first, so we made this song and put stickers up in the library to get ourselves heard, we’ll be releasing new songs soon,” Grefe said.
The duo’s intention was to capitalize on a hot button issue in order to gain recognition, which is exactly what is happening. Though some have expressed dismay at the glorification of the coastie stereotype, Harrison and Grefe assert that the song was made in good fun.
“It isn’t a hate song, listen close and you’ll see it’s a playful way of showing coastie love,” Harrison said.